Experiences Involving food in Malaysia
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
What are some of the basic principles to think about when serving food to guests?
Your guest’s health and safety should always come first. When in doubt, it would be a good idea to take your guests to, or serve them food from, reputable (and duly licensed) restaurants, or reputable (and duly licensed) professional caterers who keep clean facilities and use fresh ingredients.
To be safe, always ask your guests in advance about any food allergies, religious concerns or dining preferences before serving them anything.
My experience will involve serving a meal at my home. Are there any specific rules I need to follow?
Yes. If you are intending to provide a food experience in your home, for example, you are serving guests a home-cooked meal or providing cooking classes at home, you will need to consider the following requirements:
1. Food Hygiene Regulations 2009 (“Hygiene Regulations”) under the Food Safety and Quality Division of the Ministry of Health (“FSQ”).
The Hygiene Regulations prescribes that all "food premises" are to be kept clean and to be registered with the FSQ. There is a further requirement for "food handlers" to maintain their personal hygiene and to undergo a food-handlers training course and obtain a Certificate of Food Handlers Training. Additionally, the Hygiene Regulations imposes general requirements in relation to hygiene, appropriate handling of specific types of food, etc.
A "food premise" is defined as any premises used for or in connection with the preparation, preservation, packaging, storage, conveyance, distribution or sale of any food, or the relabelling, reprocessing or reconditioning of any food; and a "food handler" includes any person who: (a) is directly involved in the preparation of food; (b) comes into contact with food or food contact surfaces; or (c) handles packaged or unpackaged food, or appliances; in any food premise.
Registration of food premises may be carried out via an online application through FSQ’s website, or by completing registration forms which can be downloaded from the Food Safety and Quality portal and submitting it to the District Health Office or State Health Department whichever is the nearest to your premises.
Your application should be accompanied by the supporting documents such as the applicant’s identity card, a copy of a business license from its respective local authority, etc.
There is no registration fee and the certificate of registration is valid for 3 years from the date of its issuance.
If you are unsure as to whether your Experience requires you to be registered with the FSQ, it would be a good idea to reach out to the FSQ or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
2. Licensing of Food Establishments (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) By-laws 2016 (“Food Establishment By-Laws”) under the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (“DBKL”).
Any premises providing food for commercial sale would require a “food establishment license” which is issued by the relevant municipal council in each State, as governed by the respective State’s by-laws. In illustrating this, we have taken Kuala Lumpur as an example. There are conditions attached to this licence, such as the maintenance of hygiene, provision of toilets, etc.
An application for a food establishment licence shall be made in the requisite application form as set out by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The application form should be made together with the registration document of the company, business or association, identification cards of the applicants, and photos of the establishment. A license fee is also payable to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall depending on the size of the premise, ranging between RM100 to RM400. The application may be made physically at the registration counters of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall or via an online application through the e-Lesen DBKL portal.
If you are unsure as to whether your premise is deemed a food establishment, it would be a good idea to reach out to your local municipality council or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
You should be aware that there is potential criminal liability for failure to obtain the requisite registrations or licenses which may include financial penalties and/or jail.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your Experience will involve combining food with another activity (for example, serving or providing alcohol or a guided tour of the city), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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